Vallarta Living | March 2009
|On Being a Single Woman (of a Certain Age) in Puerto Vallarta - Part Two - It's Not Me... It's You|
Liana Turner - PVNN
In part one of this series, I may have been a little hard on the men, but they haven't responded in anger. I guess that if any men were offended it would have been because they were the jerks that I was writing about. In that case, they deserve to be offended and I don't mind if they are.
|When we have similar embarrassing life lessons, we realize that we are not really to blame for choosing the wrong people. It happens to almost everyone at some point.|
I did, however, have a lot of responses from women who seem to be in the same situation that many of my friends and I are in. One thing that I have to change is the part about being of "a certain age." It seems that women of all ages are having the same experiences that I am, or similar ones anyway.
I have decided to share a few of my experiences with men in the last years. I don't really like to expose the intimate details of my life, but I think it helps us to hear others' problems. When we have similar embarrassing life lessons, we realize that we are not really to blame for choosing the wrong people. It happens to almost everyone at some point.
I hired him to work in my restaurant after he had come back many times practically begging for a job. I was glad I finally gave in, because he turned out to be the best waiter ever, and he was a great cook too. I was able to get out of the kitchen and spend more time with my customers. It seemed perfect.
As the months went on, we became friends, and he would walk me home at after closing every night. At first he would kiss me on the cheek and later in other places. I thought that this would be the one, since I had never had a lover that had been my friend first. I thought it must have been the magical combination that I had been missing all these years...
Well, everything was great for a few months, until he caught my restaurant on fire while I was out shopping. We had to close to do repairs. One day, while we were contemplating the charred ruins of the restaurant and I was planning a sudden flight to Seattle for a few days to be with my family as my father died, he informed me that he was leaving Vallarta and me to take another job (I found out later that he had run off with a taco girl. They now live in California and have about five babies.)
At the time I thought it was the worst thing that could have happened to me, and I lived on wine and valium for a few weeks until I got everything pulled together. I loaded a van and headed for Seattle, depressed, and with a new svelte figure that was the result of the 100% stress diet (not recommended, by the way.)
I could have saved a lot of time and trouble if I had only waited to get to know him better. I found out later that he was one of those guys that drive around with horrible Ranchera music blaring at top volume, with that bass that makes your fillings rattle and your windpipe spasm. If I had known that I wouldn't even have been friends with him, but I had no way of knowing at the time.
There are other things, signs that I see in people that are subtle warnings, that I now pay attention to. I would never date someone who rides in the back of a pickup truck, especially if he sits in a white plastic chair while doing it. It wouldn't matter if he was the most handsome, best dressed man ever. If he is riding in the back of a pickup, the attractiveness factor hits bottom. I can't really explain this. There is an opposite reaction, however, when I see a man on stage. If he plays guitar, the sexiness index goes way up, and if he sings too... WOW!
Another warning sign for me is white socks. I don't want to see them, especially with any kind of sandals. Maybe I'm just picky, but I believe that someone who would do that is capable of many worse things.
And spitting: Ewwwww! I would never consider a man who spits in public for anything. Okay, the exception would be spitting seeds, like mandarin or watermelon. That would be okay.
The Rock and Roll Bad Boy
After the waiter, there was the French Tunisian Ex-junkie, rock and roller, Santeria-practicing Jewish crazy man.
He had so many stories... of London and Paris in the 70's and 80's, dating Jessica Lange and Marianne Faithful and Chrissie Hynde, playing in rock bands and being the quintessential bad boy. I just couldn't resist... the accent, the exotic behavior, the fun of it all.
I should have resisted. He went to Cannes for a few weeks to do radio reports on the Cannes Film Festival, and when he returned he came with tales of a reunion with a long lost French god daughter, who called him Uncle Music. How sweet. He showed me pictures of her, and since she was having some trouble in her life it was necessary that they speak on the phone regularly and email several times a day.
I could sense something wasn't quite right, and after I took him to the airport one last time for a trip to LA, I was kind of relieved to have my own life back. The "god daughter," Helene, emailed me a few months later to tell me that she hated him and that she wasn't his god daughter and that they had met when he was in Paris on his way to Cannes and fallen in love.
After that I felt a little confused about love and men, and took a long break from any serious romance.
The Married Man
I did have one romance a few years later, the biggest and most profound one, really, and ironically, we never met in person. We met playing backgammon on the Internet, and accidentally became very close, not in a sexual way, but in every other way possible.
We spoke of books and music and dreams and life in general, and found we had so much in common that we came to depend on each other for support and companionship. He was having some trouble in his marriage, and after about seven months of speaking nearly every day, there was an unfortunate accident in which his wife found one of my emails to him and there was a huge shake up.
He nobly decided to try to save his marriage, and I was put out to pasture. I believed that that marriage, even though it had been a good one in its day, had run its course and was ready for change, but he had other ideas, and just wasn't adventurous or energetic enough to take the necessary steps.
I never meant to be a home wrecker. I don't know what I meant to do, but the only advice I have for that situation is to never expect anything good to come out of it. Sometimes people do leave and the fairy tale has a happy ending, but I wouldn't ever count on that happening.
I have a feeling that most women who have been single for any amount of time must have some similar stories. You are not alone, and you shouldn't be ashamed for being taken in by these pig-dog men who use you and hurt you and leave you in a broken state. Get up, shake off the debris, and get going with life.
Get to know your own warning signs, and sometimes they might warn you away from some kind of romantic disaster. Probably not, though. I think we just have to go through these experiences and hopefully learn something.
As bad as they were, I wouldn't give up any of my mistakes. They have shaped me, taught me, and given me enough pain that I now will really appreciate the bliss when it comes. We need darkness to appreciate the light. We need noise to appreciate silence, sickness to appreciate health, and painful experiences with stupid men who don't deserve us to appreciate a good one when he shows up.
The Irreverent Chef, a.k.a. Liana Turner, is the chef and owner of Paradise Bakery and Catering. Serving the "Best Cinnamon Rolls in Vallarta," along with delicious sandwiches, salads, main dishes and yummy sweet treats every day but Sunday, and providing all styles of catering services, from pre-prepared meals to-go for informal gatherings to full service elegance for dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and special events, Paradise Bakery & Catering is located at Sierra Aconcagua 299, Prolongacion Brasil, Colonia Lazaro Cardenas, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-5133 or visit VallartaCatering.com.
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